Halle Berry is bringing back her fan website.
The 50-year-old actress originally launched her "Hallewood" fansite in 2000—before the age of social media—as a way to connect more closely with her fans. But despite the fact that it seems we have more access to celebrities today than ever before, Berry believes that power can sometimes be "misused."
Speaking on a panel with Interpublic's Michael Roth and Mastercard's Raja Rajamannar at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity today, she discussed the relaunch to a greater extent.
"In the year 2000, I had the idea of creating a fan website," she said (via The Hollywood Reporter). "I knew back then, almost 18 years ago, that the future for artists like myself was to find ways we could connect one-on-one with our fans. To have a real conversation for them to get to know me in a different way than the media was presenting me."
She continued by explaining how the upkeep of the website essentially became too much, so she shut it down after four years.
However, she recently had a change of mind as she seeks more control over her "brand" and what's being circulated on social media.
"Social media is empowering in many ways, but the part that is concerning for me, especially with my personal brand, is that that power can be misused," she said. "It can be a brand killer."
She continued, "If I am having dinner with a friend, and a man comes up and asks to take a picture, most times I will always say, 'Of course!'…But then that person posts the picture on the social media as if I am dating that person, and suddenly I am dating, like, 100 people."
While she acknowledged that this may seem "silly," she makes a solid point.
"People actually have the power to affect your brand in this day and age, and I have little control over it," she said. "And that's the frustrating part."
Berry hopes the site will be a way for her to control that narrative. She will work hand-in-hand with the media management company, Braintrust, to maintain the content, which will span across fashion, beauty, home and parenting.
"What makes America great is that we have the right to have an opinion, we have the right to agree to disagree," she said before referencing how people have grown apart since the 2016 presidential election. "But I think we do need a place today for people to come together and have real conversation. Based on where we are now with this great divide in our country, it's my obligation as an artist, to start providing that forum for people to talk things out and bring us a little bit closer."
She continued, "It will be a new way for me to connect with people around the world, to connect with the youth of today…There are things I want to say and things I want to share...I realized my celebrity could be used for good, and I think tech is a fun interactive way to do that."
Berry also joked that she wants to make sure she's a cool mom.
"My daughter is nine years old and I don't want to be the mom that doesn't know anything about social media," she laughed.
She noted the site will include virtual reality videos—which she said she's "obsessed" with—and referenced an app, but she did not say whether there will be an e-commerce aspect to it like many other celebrities lifestyle sites.